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THE MAKING OF A NATION 199 - Harry Truman

时间:2005-09-29 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:wbnewbie   字体: [ ]

THE MAKING OF A NATION - June 27, 2002: Harry1 Truman

By David Jarmul

THE MAKING OF A NATION -- a program in Special English by the Voice of America.


The House of Representatives of the Congress closed for business early on the rainy
afternoon of April twelfth, nineteen-forty-five. The House Democratic leader, Sam Rayburn,
stepped down from his chair and invited a friend to come by his office for a drink. "Be there
around five o'clock," Rayburn said. "Harry Truman is coming over."

The Second World War was not yet over. But it was a quiet afternoon in Washington.
President Franklin Roosevelt was in the state of Georgia. He was resting after his recent trip to Yalta to meet with
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet2 leader Joseph Stalin. The president's wife, Eleanor, was at
the White House, working on a speech supporting the new United Nations organization.

Vice3 President Harry Truman was at the Senate. But he was not interested in the debate. He spent most of his
time writing a letter to his mother and sister back in the state of Missouri. When the debate finished, he went to
the office of House leader Rayburn to join him for a drink. It was an afternoon Truman would never forget.


Rayburn and his other friend were talking in the office before Truman arrived. Suddenly the telephone rang. It
was the White House. A voice asked whether Vice President Truman had arrived yet. "No," Rayburn replied.
"Tell him to call the White House," the voice said, "as soon as he gets there."

Truman entered a minute later. He immediately called the White House. As he talked, his face became white. He
put down the phone and raced out the door to find his car.


Truman arrived at the White House within minutes. An assistant took him up to the private living area for the
president. Mr. Roosevelt was waiting for him there. "Harry," she said to Truman, "the president is dead."

Truman was shocked. He asked Missus Roosevelt if there was anything he could do to help her. But her reply
made clear to him that his own life had suddenly changed. "Is there anything we can do for you?" Missus
Roosevelt asked the new president. "You are the one in trouble now."


Within hours, the world knew the news. Franklin Roosevelt was dead. Americans were shocked and afraid.
Roosevelt had led them since early nineteen-thirty-three. He was the only president many young Americans had
ever known. Who would lead them now.

The answer was Harry Truman, the vice president. Truman had been a surprise choice for
vice president. Delegates4 at the Democratic presidential convention5 of nineteen-forty-four
chose him to be with Roosevelt only after considering several other candidates. Roosevelt
and Truman easily defeated their Republican6 Party opponents. And, when Roosevelt died,
Truman became president.


Truman lacked the fame, the rich family, and the strong speaking voice of Franklin

Roosevelt. He was a much simpler man. He grew up in the central state of Missouri. Truman
only studied through high school and some night-time law school classes. He worked for
many years as a farmer and a small businessman, but without much success.

Truman had long been interested in politics. When he was almost forty years old, he finally
won several low-level jobs in his home state. By nineteen-thirty-four, he was popular enough
in the state to be nominated7 and elected to the United States Senate. And he won re-election
six years later.


April 16, 1945:

Harry Truman
Most Americans, however, knew little about Truman when he became president. They knew making his first
he had close ties to the Democratic Party political machine in his home state. But they also speech as


had heard that he was a very honest man. They could see that Truman had strongly supported (Photo - Library of
President Roosevelt's "New Deal" programs. But they could not be sure what kind of Congress)
president Truman would become.


History gave Truman little time to learn about his new job. In one of his first weeks as president, Truman signed
a paper on his desk without reading it completely. Only later did he learn that his signing the paper had stopped
the shipment8 of American goods to Britain under the "lend-lease" program.

Truman's mistake caused problems for people in both the United States and Britain.
But it also taught the new president how much power he now had, and how
carefully he must use it.


The most important power he now possessed9 was the power of atomic weapons.
And, soon after he became president, he faced the decision to use that terrible power
or not.

Truman understood the tragic10 importance of using atomic bombs to end World War
Two. Yet he firmly believed that using such bombs was the only way to force Japan to surrender. So in August,
nineteen-forty-five, he gave the orders to drop atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The war in Europe had ended several months earlier. Truman met in Potsdam, Germany, with British Prime
Minister Winston Churchill and soviet leader Joseph Stalin to plan the peace.

The three leaders agreed that their nations and France would occupy Germany jointly11. They also agreed to end
the Nazi12 party in Germany, to hold trials for Nazi war criminals, and to break up some German businesses.

Foreign ministers of the Allied13 nations later negotiated14 peace treaties with Germany's wartime allies15 and other
countries, including Italy, Hungary, and Romania.

The east European nations all agreed to protect the political and economic freedom of their citizens. However,
western political experts were becoming more fearful each day that the soviet union would block any effort for
real democracy in eastern Europe.


Truman did not trust the soviets16. And as he made plans for Asia, he promised himself that he would not allow
Moscow any part in controlling Japan. For this reason, the allied occupation of Japan was mainly American.

The American leader in Japan, General Douglas MacArthur, acted quickly to hold a series of trials for Japanese
war crimes. He also launched a series of reforms to move Japan toward becoming a modern Western democracy.
Women were given the right to vote. Land was divided among farmers. Shinto was ended as the national religion.
And the educational system was reorganized.

Japan began to recover very soon, becoming stronger than ever before as an economic power.


While Truman and other world leaders dealt with the problems of making peace, they also were trying to
establish a new system for keeping the peace.

The United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, and the other Allies had formed the United Nations as a wartime
organization. But soon after Truman took office, they met in San Francisco to discuss ways to make the United
Nations a permanent organization for peace.

At the same time, many of the world's economic experts were meeting to organize a new economic system for the
world. They created the World Bank and the International Monetary17 Fund to help nations rebuild their


At the center of all the action was Harry Truman. It was not long before he showed Americans and the world that
he had the ability to be a good president. He was honest, strong, and willing to make decisions.

"I was sworn-in one night and the next morning I had to get right to the job at hand," Truman remembered years
later. "I was afraid. But, of course, I didn't let anybody know that. And I knew that I would not be called on to do
anything that I was not able to do. That's something I learned from reading history.

"People in the past have had much bigger problems. Somehow, the best of them just went ahead and did what
they had to do. And they usually did all right.

"The job I had in the White House was not so very different from other jobs," Truman said. "I didn't let it worry
me. Worrying never does you any good. So I have never worried about things much. "



You have been listening to THE MAKING OF A NATION, a program in Special English by the Voice of
America. Your narrators have been Harry Monroe and Rich Kleinfeldt. Our program was written by David
Jarmul. The Voice of America invites you to listen again next week to THE MAKING OF A NATION.

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1 harry heBxS     
  • Today,people feel more hurried and harried.今天,人们感到更加忙碌和苦恼。
  • Obama harried business by Healthcare Reform plan.奥巴马用医改掠夺了商界。
2 Soviet Sw9wR     
  • Zhukov was a marshal of the former Soviet Union.朱可夫是前苏联的一位元帅。
  • Germany began to attack the Soviet Union in 1941.德国在1941年开始进攻苏联。
3 vice NU0zQ     
  • He guarded himself against vice.他避免染上坏习惯。
  • They are sunk in the depth of vice.他们堕入了罪恶的深渊。
4 delegates f6181d3345b223dc5fcaf31ceaaa79c3     
代表,代表团成员( delegate的名词复数 )
  • The conference was attended by delegates from 56 countries. 此次会议有来自56个国家的代表出席。
  • Delegates expressed strong opposition to the plans. 代表强烈反对这些计划。
5 convention KYFza     
  • How many delegates have checked in at the convention?大会已有多少代表报到?
  • He sets at naught every convention of society.他轻视所有的社会习俗。
6 republican wW0xw     
n.拥护共和政体的人; adj.共和政体的,(Republican)共和党人,(Republican)共和党的
  • Some families have been republican for generations.有些家庭世代都支持共和党。
  • A third candidate has entered the contest for the Republican nomination.第三个候选人已经加入角逐共和党提名的行列。
7 nominated e2793e0460cef0e428b335fb795136f0     
adj.被提名的,被任命的 动词nominate的过去式和过去分词
  • She has been nominated for the presidency. 她已经获得了董事长职位的提名。
  • The movie was nominated for an Oscar. 这部电影获奥斯卡金像奖提名。
8 shipment cyVwp     
  • The goods are done up in bundles for shipment.货物已打包以备装船。
  • Please advise the date of shipment as soon as possible.请尽快通知装货日期。
9 possessed xuyyQ     
  • He flew out of the room like a man possessed.他像着了魔似地猛然冲出房门。
  • He behaved like someone possessed.他行为举止像是魔怔了。
10 tragic inaw2     
  • The effect of the pollution on the beaches is absolutely tragic.污染海滩后果可悲。
  • Charles was a man doomed to tragic issues.查理是个注定不得善终的人。
11 jointly jp9zvS     
  • Tenants are jointly and severally liable for payment of the rent. 租金由承租人共同且分别承担。
  • She owns the house jointly with her husband. 她和丈夫共同拥有这所房子。
12 Nazi BjXyF     
  • They declare the Nazi regime overthrown and sue for peace.他们宣布纳粹政权已被推翻,并出面求和。
  • Nazi closes those war criminals inside their concentration camp.纳粹把那些战犯关在他们的集中营里。
13 allied iLtys     
  • Britain was allied with the United States many times in history.历史上英国曾多次与美国结盟。
  • Allied forces sustained heavy losses in the first few weeks of the campaign.同盟国在最初几周内遭受了巨大的损失。
14 negotiated feb94d7f6645e2d1563a11dc68b7ea2f     
谈判,协商,议定( negotiate的过去式和过去分词 ); 兑现(支票等); 通过,越过(险要路段)
  • The government negotiated with the opposition party over the new law. 政府就新法与反对党进行了协商。
  • By careful strategy she negotiated a substantial pay rise. 她精心策划后,谈妥了大幅增加工资的事。
15 allies 0315fa8e6410a54cc80a4eb2babcda27     
联盟国,同盟者; 同盟国,同盟者( ally的名词复数 ); 支持者; 盟军
  • The allies would fear that they were pawns in a superpower condominium. 这个联盟担心他们会成为超级大国共管的牺牲品。
  • A number of the United States' allies had urged him not to take a hasty decision. 美国的一些盟友已力劝他不要急于作决定。
16 soviets 95fd70e5832647dcf39beb061b21c75e     
  • A public challenge could provoke the Soviets to dig in. 公开挑战会促使苏联人一意孤行。
  • The Soviets proposed the withdrawal of American ballistic-missile submarines from forward bases. 苏联人建议把美国的弹道导弹潜艇从前沿基地撤走。
17 monetary pEkxb     
  • The monetary system of some countries used to be based on gold.过去有些国家的货币制度是金本位制的。
  • Education in the wilderness is not a matter of monetary means.荒凉地区的教育不是钱财问题。
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